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What is The Gathering Project?

The Gathering Project is a creative community programme running for three years from 2021 until 2023 across Hampshire. It is designed to promote community cohesion, resilience and positive health and wellbeing. The project gives people an opportunity to build confidence, develop individual resilience and feel connected to their community. Participants will learn how to make healthier life choices and to reduce harmful behaviours, as well as learning about accessing local services and support. 


Each session runs for a maximum of two hours. Sessions always begin with warmups and icebreakers, this is then followed by creative tasks and exercises based on the topics of the project. It is important to say that The Gathering Project is not about getting the participants to performing or working towards any performance, it’s more about the experience of using theatre and creative activity to talk about mental health. The project is run by specialist community arts practitioners experienced in delivering creative and wellbeing projects. These practitioners are mental health first aid trained and have an enhanced DBS check and have undergone Covid-19 Safe training.



In 2021 the focus was 'Resilience' and has been developed in direct response to the Covid-19 Pandemic with participants exploring the themes of Isolation, Loss, Coping and Emergence. 

So far, in 2021 we have delivered the project with:

  • Basingstoke Wellbeing Centre (supported by Andover Mind)

  • New Forest Wellbeing Service (supported by Solent Mind)

  • VoluntHeroes (supported by Gosport Voluntary Action)

  • Eastleigh Wellbeing Centre (supported by Solent Mind)

  • Women's Wellbeing Group, Hythe (supported by Families Matter)

We're are continuing to work with Hampshire-based community groups on the 2021 project for FREE until February 2022. 

If you or your group would like to take part please email

How does this project benefit communities? 

COVID-19 has had a negative impact on community life across the country, communities which are essential for health and wellbeing, social connections, neighbourliness, a sense of belonging and

mutual trust. Building and maintaining community resilience is vital as we recover from the pandemic.


This project:

  • Helps people articulate their mental health and therefore feel more empowered to make better lifestyle choices, feel more healthy and ultimately have an improved quality of life

  • Uses arts and creative activity to help people feel connected, more resilient and more able to deal with individual and community challenges

  • Gives communities something to celebrate, makes people feel good and energises and inspires local residents 

  • Connects people to local support services that they might not know about or feel excluded from.



In 2022 the focus of The Gathering Project is 'Thrive' and the topics are 'Explore', 'Consider', 'Notice' and 'Act'. The project will encourage communities and participants to focus on what's next, understand what makes them happy and how to create positive environments for themselves and others.

If you are interested in getting involved in The Gathering Project in 2022 then please contact


The Gathering Project Funders and Supporters:

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